A Letter to Moms Struggling with the True Story Project

September 25, 2016  |  Craig St. John

To the Moms of Redemption Tempe,

Our church has embarked on the True Story Project. Reading the whole Bible in a year is a lofty endeavor for anyone. But if you are a mom with children still living in your house, my guess is your first thought was, “That’s a great idea. Maybe when my kids are older or moved out of the house, I can do something like that, too.”

This is the response that I have received from multiple women as I’ve told them about the True Story Project. As a mom of four kids six and under, I get it, and I know all the reasons that you don’t have time for it. I, too, once thought that reading my Bible was the last thing that was going to make the to-do list. If I got a few verses in, maybe a psalm, I was feeling accomplished. But there is no way that I can read a whole chapter, let alone multiple chapters, in one day, every day, for a year!

Walking Through Darkness

After I had my third child, I had a friend ask if having three children was challenging. While having three kids three and under was difficult and time-consuming and exhausting, I started to explain to her that wasn’t what felt so hard. What was so hard was the darkness that I felt—it could be the middle of the day, and I felt consumed by darkness.

I realized that day that I needed help, so I discussed it with my husband that night. His first question to me was, “How often are you reading your Bible?” I could hardly contain my laughter. I have three kids three and under. If I have a spare minute, I am going to take a shower or a nap. To me, reading my Bible was a luxury afforded to those with spare time, which I had none of.

My husband suggested that I make that my priority no matter what. If the kids need to watch some TV to make it happen, then do that. So, the next morning, I woke up, turned on a show for the kids during breakfast and read my Bible…and again the next day…and again the next.

Until one day, a few months later, that same friend asked how I was doing, and I looked back and realized that through daily time with God, He had pulled me out of the darkness and replaced it with light. My days weren’t any less busy; in fact, they were probably busier because by now my third child was on the move. But my days were filled with light that couldn’t be taken by a toddler tantrum, a missed nap, or a bad night of sleep because God’s Word was my light (Psalm 119:105).

Caring for Your Kids through God’s Word

As moms, we are used to sacrificing our needs and desires every moment of every day to take care of the tiny people around us. We take the time daily to be sure our kids are supplied with nutritious meals, clean clothes, and washed dishes. We enroll them in activities so they can pursue their love of basketball or science or art. We have hopes and dreams of them becoming scholars or successful businessmen or teachers and would do anything to help them pursue these dreams, yet even these dreams are fleeting (Psalm 144:4).

What we fail to realize is that reading our Bibles and spending time with God is the single best thing we can do for those we are caring for. The one thing that God has called us to do as parents is to teach them the Gospel (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). How can we teach them the Gospel if we don’t know it ourselves? How can we show them how to be a Christian if we don’t know Christ?

Making the Time

Days with kids are unpredictable. So we have to plan for the unexpected and be sure that we still get in God’s Word when everything else seems to go wrong. As you look at the True Story Project, I challenge you to set aside your “A”, “B”, and “C” times.

Your “A” time is your first choice. How would you read your Bible if you had your pick? Mine is first thing in the morning before the kids get up when the house is quiet and my coffee is still hot. But, inevitably, if I try to get up early, so will the kids.

So, now my “A” time isn’t an option, so I move on to my “B” time. My “B” time is turning on a TV show for them while I read my Bible. But, this morning we don’t have time for a show because we need to get out of the house.

So, now my “A” time is gone, my “B” time is gone. When is my absolute, last resort, can’t miss this Bible time? That is my “C” time. My “C” time is when all the kids are in bed. This is not my first choice because I am usually exhausted by the end of the day, but I know that I need God’s Word more than I need sleep. Which, moms know that sleep is like gold, so, yes, reading God’s Word is more important to me than sleep and gold.

Catch Up Time

So you have your “A”, “B” and “C” times and you are never going to miss a day, right? In the chaos of life, it is inevitable that you are going to miss a day here and there. So, in addition to your daily times, build in one catch up day a month. Find a time where you go somewhere, by yourself for an hour or two, and catch up. Maybe you can catch up on your reading with a friend or find a cute coffee shop to read in. Just be sure that this monthly catch up time is childless so you can truly catch up.

God’s Word Shapes Us

Every day with children, some days every minute, you are faced with challenges and tests of patience. You are peppered with thousands of questions about the world we live in. You are exhausted, emotionally and physically. You are depleted. You are stretched further than you ever have been. You need God’s Word now.

God’s Word will revitalize, restore and renew us. His word has the power to change our hearts and shape our lives towards Him (Hebrews 4:12).

So moms, as you look at the True Story Project and think to yourself, how can I afford to spend time in my day sitting and reading God’s Word, I ask, how can you afford not to?! Do whatever it takes—put on a TV show for them. Let them have computer game time. Have your spouse make breakfast in the morning while you read your Bible. This is as important, as it ensures that your child has their most basic needs cared for.

So, moms, don’t get overwhelmed if you have missed a few weeks already of the True Story Project. Start with us today. And please don’t try to do this alone. Do it with a friend or your spouse. Come to our Women’s Open Bible Study on Wednesday nights. God wants us to be in community, and what better community to be in than a community of people that are reading God’s Word.

Grab your Bible, your SQUID book, and a cup of coffee, and open your Bible to today’s reading.   This is so important and will be so worth it.

Sincerely,

Caitlin Anderson

Director of R/Kids